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UMNIX - Lazard U.S. Municipal Portfolio Institutional Shares

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Lazard U.S. Municipal Portfolio Institutional Shares (UMNIX)
Expense Ratio: 0.40%
Expected Lifetime Fees: $12,680.81


The Lazard U.S. Municipal Portfolio Institutional Shares fund (UMNIX) is a Muni National Interm fund started on 2/28/2011 and has $19.40 million in assets under management. The current manager has been running Lazard U.S. Municipal Portfolio Institutional Shares since 3/24/2011. The fund is rated by Morningstar. This fund does not charge 12b-1 fees.

MarketRiders Prefers The Following ETF

Market Vectors Intermediate Muni ETF (ITM)
Expense Ratio: 0.24%
Expected Lifetime Fees: $7,737.49


The Market Vectors Intermediate Muni ETF (ITM) is an Exchange Traded Fund. It is a "basket" of securities that index the Muni National Interm investment strategy and is an alternative to a Muni National Interm mutual fund. Fees are very low compared to a comparable mutual fund like Lazard U.S. Municipal Portfolio Institutional Shares because computers automatically manage the stocks.




The Following Muni National Interm Funds Have Lower Fees Than Lazard U.S. Municipal Portfolio Institutional Shares (UMNIX). Why are these metrics important?
Mutual Fund Name Ticker Symbol Turnover Assets (M) Annual Fees
American Century IntermTrm Tx-Fr Bd Inst AXBIX 14.0% 3,500 0.28%
American Funds Ltd-Term Tx-Ex Bd F-2 LTEFX 14.0% 2,900 0.38%
Baird Intermediate Muni Bd Inst BMBIX 8.0% 1,200 0.30%
Invesco Tax-Free Intermediate Y ATFYX 11.0% 1,500 0.35%
Managers AMG GW&K Municipal Bond Institutional Class GWMIX 26.0% 126 0.35%
TIAA-CREF Tax-Exempt Bond Inst TITIX 59.0% 360 0.35%
Vanguard High-Yield Tax-Exempt VWAHX 19.0% 7,200 0.20%
Vanguard High-Yield Tax-Exempt Adm VWALX 19.0% 7,200 0.12%
Vanguard Interm-Term Tx-Ex Adm VWIUX 15.0% 35,300 0.12%
Vanguard Interm-Term Tx-Ex Inv VWITX 15.0% 35,300 0.20%



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Why Are These Metrics Important?


Turnover
Turnover represents how much of a mutual fund's holdings are changed over the course of a year through buying and selling. Active mutual funds have an average turnover rate of about 85%, meaning that funds are turning over nearly all of their holdings every year. A high turnover means you could make lower returns because: 1) buying and selling stocks costs money through commissions and spreads and 2) the fund will distribute yearly capital gains which increases your taxes. Look for funds with turnover rates below 50%. For comparison, ETF turnover rates average around 10% or lower.

Assets
Generally, smaller funds do better than larger ones. The more assets in a mutual fund, the lower the chance that it will beat its index. Managers outperform an index by choosing stocks that are undervalued. In order to find these undervalued stocks, the manager has to know more than his competitors to develop an "edge." There are only a finite number of stocks a mutual fund manager can reasonably analyze and actively track to gain such a competitive edge. When the fund has more assets, the manager must analyze large companies because he needs to take larger positions. Large companies are more efficiently priced in the market and it becomes increasingly difficult to get an edge.

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